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The Calisthenics Revival

How to rebuild strength without equipment    
There is a fitness revolution going on that takes the tried-and-true strength building techniques of the past and combines it with new  techniques for max fitness. That technique is calisthenics, and the benefits are being rediscovered in America after decades of neglect. Exercise is not about the equipment or the cost, but instead it is the movement and endurance that comes directly from your brain to muscle.
This was then:

This is now:
Modern exercises draw mainly from calisthenics, hearkening back to when exercise techniques were a closely guarded secret. Calisthenics is a type of physical training where you remain grounded and exercise without equipment. It does not require interval training, nor strength training, and thus is easier to do while you are recovering.
Calisthenics was part of the “Swedish Movement Cure” exercise regiment that fell out of favor when gym equipment became a big industry. As it turns out, this is not the ideal exercise for all people, and it took until 2012 to find that (The Journal of Sports Rehabilitation) found that:

  • Women who did Pilates and calisthenics for 3 to 6 months improved lower body movement significantly.
  • Pilates and calisthenics improved leg coordination by acclimating legs to rapid or strained movement for longer periods.   

However, you do not need to participate in an experiment to get the same effects. You can get the same benefit of calisthenics training using a little free space and self- discipline. Try these four calisthenics out at home:
The Squat
The simple spot requires no machines or technicians, you only need technique and self-discipline. The Squat has many variations and levels of difficulty. Starting with a two legged half squat will warm you up. Make sure to not stress your knee joints as you practice on-legged, full, or arms crossed squatting. All of which help you build endurance and lower body strength.
Push Ups
A gym class classic. Remember what your teacher told you and pick up your chest. Many people also find that putting you feet against a wall makes it easier to keep balance.
Frog Stand
Hold your hands to the ground and prepare a handstand. Then curl your legs into your chest, and balance on just your hands.
The Double Arm Lever
Though it may look more comfortable than the frog stand, don’t be fooled. Balancing yourself like a flat plain is much more difficult. Remember to keep your hands near your center of gravity, because nobody can balance off-center.

If you want to learn about the benefits of calisthenics in exercise, go to Moriarty has a new office in LaGrange, NY, offering calisthenics physical therapy.


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Come visit one of our physical therapy clinics in New York or North Carolina and one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy will do a 15-minute consultation to see if physical therapy is right for you. In the consultation, we’ll help determine the source of pain and movement restrictions to see if you would benefit from physical therapy or might need the assistance of another healthcare professional. If so, we’ll make a referral and help speed up achieving your health goal.

You have nothing to lose; the screening is free! And if physical therapy could help you, we can perform the examination right then–even without a prescription–with Direct Access (covered by insurance).

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